Monday, September 29, 2014

Jose Altuve Joins Rarefied Air

Jose Altuve put together one of the most impressive seasons with his 2014 American League batting and hits titles. Altuve finished with a .341 batting average with 225 hits. Now consider this, Altuve's 225 hits places him in 3rd place All-Time for Hits by a Latino Ballplayer.

Now keeping in mind of such sluggers that have recently played the game as Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltran, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Nelson Cruz, Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero and Latino legends such as Roberto Clemente, Vic Power (Victor Pellot), Tony Oliva and Pedro Guerrero, Altuve had more hits in his 2014 season than all those players ever did in an individual season. Now consider that the record most hits in one season is 262 hits, which is held by Ichiro Suzuki, here are the two Latinos to have more hits that Jose Altuve

Rod Carew
At the age of 31, Panamanian Rod Carew put up a career high 239 hits during the 1977 season in which he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award while a member of the Minnesota Twins. 1977 was also a career year for Carew in terms of batting average. Carew hit .388 that season with 38 doubles, 16 triples and 14 home runs while driving in 100 runs and scoring 128 runs.

Matteo Alou
One of the famed trio of Alou Brothers from the Dominican Republic, Matteo Alou racked up a career high 231 hits for the 1969 Pittsburgh Pirates. Alou batted .331 with a league leading 41 doubles, 6 triples and 1 home run while driving in 48 runs and scoring 105 runs.

Jose Altuve
What's impressive about Altuve's 2014 season is that he was able to do so at the young age of 24. Altuve batted a career high .341 with a career high 225 hits. He raked 47 doubles, 3 triples and 7 home runs with 59 Runs batted in and 85 runs scored. Add to that, the league leading 56 stolen bases that Altuve swiped.

Will Altuve get much AL MVP consideration outside of Houston? The front runners are currently Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones and Victor Martinez. I think it will be hard for Altuve to win the AL MVP though if I had a vote, he'd be my pick. What do you think, does he have a chance to win AL MVP?

Hasta la próxima, no dejamos de jugar el Beisbol,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading:
- Click here to access Jose Altuve's career statistics from Baseball
- Click here to access Rod Carew's career statistics from Baseball
- Click here to access Matteo Alou's career statistics from Baseball
- Click here to access the Single-Season Leaders & Records for Hits from Baseball

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fernando Valenzuela Becomes the First Mexican-Born Pitcher to Win 20-Games September 22, 1986

On this day in Baseball History September 22, 1986: Native of Etchohuaquila, Mexico by the name of Fernando Valenzuela Anguamea nicknamed "El Toro" became the first Mexican-born pitcher to win 20-games. Pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Houston Astros at the Astrodome, Fernando threw the 19th of his league leading 20 complete games for his 20th victory. Valenzuela was en-route to a 21-11 record and his only career 20-win season. Valenzuela would come in second in the National League Cy Young vote behind Mike Scott of the Houston Astros.

The 1986 season would be special for Mexican-born pitchers with Teddy Higuera of the Milwaukee Brewers joining Valenzuela in the Mexican-born 20-game winner club. Higuera would win his 20th game on October 1, 1986 against the Detroit Tigers. As with Valenzuela, Higuera would finish second in the American League Cy Young vote. His 20-11 1986 campaign would be his only 20-win season in his career.

Will we ever see another 20-win pitcher from Mexico? There are currently a couple of pitchers who can do so. Jaime Garcia of the St. Louis Cardinals has won 13 games twice (2010 and 2011). Injuries have seemed to have slowed him down. Jaime de la Rosa of the Colorado Rockies has won 16 games twice (2009 and 2013) and currently has 14 wins this season. Marco Estrada of the Milwaukee Brewers is also another pitcher that has the potential if he can become a fixture in the Brewers rotation. Miguel Gonzalez of the Baltimore Orioles is also another potential pitcher for the Mexican- born 20-win game. My prediction is Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gallardo has put up 13, 14, 17, and 16-win seasons with the Brewers. I believe that if anyone of the Mexican pitchers that I mention that are currently playing in MLB can reach 20-wins, its Gallardo. What do you think. Agree? Disagree? Anyone else that I failed to mention? We'll have to wait and see if any of these pitchers step up next season.

Hasta la próxima, no dejamos de jugar el Beisbol,
Baseball Sisco